I love watching the interplay of light filtered through green leaves onto water, the sparkling diamonds of light on the gurgling stream. Light can only be appreciated as it balances and plays with darkness, with shadow.Our lives, too, have periods of light and dark. We go through dark moods of sadness, the valleys of the shadow (Psalm 23), the dark night of the soul.

In parashat Noah, Genesis 6:16-18, God instructs Noah to construct the ark, and to put a “tsohar” a light, a brightness, near the ceiling. The ark shaped like a kind of giant floating three-story box, built for survival. To “put a light in our ark” is to open ourselves to a bigger picture outside of where we are boxed in, trying to survive. While we were all going through some difficult times, one of our adult children wisely pointed out that even though your darkness and turmoil are very real to you, they aren’t all of reality. You have to allow a tiny opening for some light to come in, even if it’s just to tell yourself that “just because I perceive the world this way, doesn’t make it true.”

Consider: Think about a current challenging situation in your life, or a situation you are trying to change in the larger world. Can you make a skylight in your own awareness, an opening for a different perspective, another point of view, or just a little space? By letting this light in, this tsohar into your perspective, can you get a new view on things?

Featured Image: Light on Big Chico Creek, JHD

Continue to a Kabbalistic perspective on the solar New Year, or return to the Gateway of Light